Our Compassionate Savior – February 26, 2022

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.
Romans 12:14-16

Our Compassionate Savior

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 26, 2022

Devotion based on Romans 12:14-16

See series: Devotions

The Bible is not the only book to instruct us to “live in harmony with one another.” Buddhism, Hinduism, and other world religions—even secular philosophies—give us much the same guidance for life. Our consciences warn us that we would do well to treat others around us with love and compassion. But no matter who gives us this advice or how often we hear it, we still struggle to put ourselves in the shoes of others or to put their needs and feelings ahead of our own. Our natural inclination is so turned inward that we are blind to the ways that we could be a blessing to others. And when we do think of others, it is often with jealousy, envy, contempt, and pride.

Fortunately, the Bible not only tells us what we should be doing, it tells us what God’s Son has done for us. Jesus Christ perfectly considered what others needed from him. He offered forgiveness to those who crucified him. He wept along with the mourners at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. He performed his first miracle at a wedding reception to help the joyful celebration continue even as he revealed his glory as the Son of God. At Christmas, we rejoice at the news that God loved us so much that he took on our own flesh and blood. He took our sorrows on himself. He took on the weight of our sin. And he carried the guilt of our selfishness to the cross where he paid for it in full.

Jesus has shared in our sorrows so that he can share his joy with us. In him, we find God’s grace and the promise of forgiveness. In him, we find compassion so deep that it spills over into our own hearts. In Christ Jesus, we find joy in serving others and in bringing his message of peace to everyone.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, you loved me when I was unlovable. May your compassion for everyone be reflected in the way that I live. Teach me to see the ways that I can be a blessing to others as you are to me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Source – February 25, 2022

[Jesus said] “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that . . . Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Luke 6:32-33,36

The Source

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 25, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 6:32-33,36

See series: Devotions

Her name was Cornelia. Everyone called her “Corrie.” And Corrie was in a moment of shock.

It was several years after World War II. Corrie and her Christian family had hidden Jews from Nazi authorities during the war. The authorities had discovered what her family was doing and sent Corrie, her father, and her sister to a concentration camp. Corrie was the only one to survive.

Back to Corrie’s moment of shock: She was sharing her wartime experiences with others, including the message of God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ. As she did, a man walked up to her. She recognized him right away, although he apparently did not recognize her. He had been a guard at Ravensbruck—the very concentration camp where Corrie had suffered and her family had died. The man had taken part in terrible, terrible things. And now, there he stood. There he stood, seeking God’s forgiveness in Christ.

He offered to shake hands. But in that moment, Corrie couldn’t do it. She just couldn’t. For all her talk in that room about forgiving others as God has forgiven us in Jesus, she didn’t have the strength. There was just too much horror. Too many memories. Too many scars.

Then, by God’s grace, Corrie received a lesson about the power of God’s forgiveness. She turned to her Lord with a repentant heart, seeking forgiveness for her failure to forgive this man. Before she knew what was happening, her arm was up. She was shaking the man’s hand. She realized, as she had never realized before, that the power to forgive others does not come from your own strength. Rather, it is God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ that carries all of us.

Prayer:
There are times, Lord Jesus, when I struggle to forgive others. The hurt is so great. The memories are so strong. Wash me clean. Cleanse me in your blood. And let your forgiveness flow through me to others. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Overcome – February 24, 2022

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

Overcome

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 24, 2022

Devotion based on Romans 12:21

See series: Devotions

Rome, 165 A.D. According to early Church history, the Christians living there at that time do not have an easy life. Persecution seems to be on the rise. Then conditions grow worse. A plague arrives. As many as two thousand people in Rome die every day. The dominant cultural mindset has little regard for the dead and the dying. Anyone with the financial means to move out of the city does so.

The Christians, however, do not. The Christians stay, and they stay for a reason. Because God has demonstrated mercy to them in Jesus Christ, they desire to demonstrate mercy to the sick and the dying in Rome. They care for them, bury them, and do not do this just for a little while. They do it for the duration.

Whenever Satan and this broken world team up to make life difficult for me as a Christian, it’s easy for my old sinful self to talk me into feeling overcome, defeated, resentful, bitter. When I do, I conveniently forget that nowhere in the Bible does God ever guarantee that I can expect my life to be comfortable, convenient, trouble-free. On the contrary, God’s Word fairly shouts that I can expect pushback of every kind. To forget God’s voice on this matter is more than some simple oversight. It’s deliberate, sinful denial—sinful denial for which I need to repent.

But the wondrous thing is this. When I once again receive the refreshment of God’s forgiveness through faith in the One who suffered and died to wash me clean—that very forgiveness empowers me to look at the difficulties in my life with new eyes. When the troubles of this world press down upon me, I can see them as opportunities for my fruits of faith to shine. As the old saying goes, the light of my candle is much more visible in times of darkness than in times of light.

And remember those early Christians facing all that trouble in Rome? Many, many new souls came to faith in Jesus during that time. As people watched these Christians reflect God’s love for them in Christ, they wanted to learn more.

Prayer:
By the power of your love and forgiveness, Lord Jesus, move me to overcome evil with good. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Revenge – February 23, 2022

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Romans 12:19

Revenge

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 23, 2022

Devotion based on Romans 12:19

See series: Devotions

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” This old saying about revenge goes back at least to the early 1800s. It means that taking revenge on someone is more satisfying when you allow a good amount of time to pass by first. From caper movies like Ocean’s 11 to westerns like Once Upon a Time in the West, the cold dish of revenge makes for a compelling plotline.

But there’s a downside to revenge. English philosopher Francis Bacon put it quite well. He wrote, “A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.”

God, of course, knows us far better than we will ever know ourselves. He knows that revenge is simply a broad opportunity for my old sinful self to run amok. In the name of righteous indignation, it’s an opportunity for my old sinful self to indulge in all kinds of toxic impulses, from bitterness and resentment to arrogance and self-absorption. All of which threatens to harden my heart. All of which threaten to pull me away from the only Savior you and I are ever going to have.

When Jesus walked this earth on our behalf, not once did he ever give in to the temptation to plot revenge on someone who had wronged him, not even as he hung on the cross. And because of Jesus’ perfect faithfulness, God has washed us clean through faith in his Son—and that includes even our poisonous thoughts of revenge against someone who has wronged us.

Cleansed and embraced by our Savior, you and I are now free. In the words of Francis Bacon, you and I no longer have to study revenge, keeping our own wounds green. Instead, you and I can bask in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. We can entrust all things to our just and good God. Instead, you and I can get on with the business of proclaiming Jesus Christ with our lives.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when someone wrongs me, purge my heart of revenge. Fill me with the same spirit of forgiveness you have shown me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Joseph’s Eyes – February 22, 2022

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “. . . God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
Genesis 45:4,7

Joseph’s Eyes

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 22, 2022

Devotion based on Genesis 45:4,7

See series: Devotions

And so there Joseph stood. As the Prime Minister of Egypt, he had just revealed to his brothers his true identity. He was their brother, Joseph—the very one his brothers sold into slavery many years earlier.

In that moment, Joseph could have fixed his eyes only on his brothers. He could have filled his field of vision only with what they had done to him so many years earlier.

But he didn’t. Instead, by God’s grace, Joseph’s eyes rested on his Lord. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Joseph could see that God’s hand had been guiding his life all along. He could see that God’s hand had caused even the past actions of his brothers to submit to his good and gracious will.

Like Joseph, you and I can have times when we can easily fix our eyes only on those who have hurt us. Perhaps there’s someone who has disappointed us. Perhaps there’s someone who has humiliated us. Perhaps there’s someone who has abandoned us.

If that is where we fix our eyes, however, then we are placing our eyes precisely where Satan wants them to be. For when we look only at those who have hurt us, then we are blocking our line of sight to see the hand of God.

But that’s why Jesus came. As our substitute, he lived a life of perfect trust in his heavenly Father’s will. Even when he endured the cruelty of sinful men, Jesus knew that his heavenly Father would guide it all for good. The result was full forgiveness for our every sin. The result was a home for each of us in heaven. The result was a place for you and me in God’s family through faith in his Son. That, and God’s promise that he will guide all things in your life for good.

And here’s the best part. It is his very forgiveness of our sins that empowers you and me to lift up our eyes and see God’s guiding hand.

Prayer:
Lord, lift up my eyes to see that your hand is always at work in my life. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Old Enemies – February 21, 2022

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “. . . [D]o not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”
Genesis 45:4,5

Old Enemies

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 21, 2022

Devotion based on Genesis 45:4,5

See series: Devotions

The story of Joseph is one of the most extraordinary accounts in the entire Bible. Sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph endures years of twists and turns until he finds himself serving in the extraordinary position of Prime Minister in Egypt. When famine strikes the region, his brothers come to Egypt looking to purchase food. The climax of the account arrives when Joseph finally reveals to his brothers who he really is. The sheer emotion of the scene is potent.

As soon as he reveals his true identity, however, Joseph displays a deep concern. His brothers are now in shock. They are now having to confront the terrible thing they did to Joseph so many years ago. Joseph is afraid that the distress and despair his brothers feel will overwhelm them.

Perhaps you have never sold a sibling into slavery. Chances are excellent, however, that you, too, have dark moments in your past. Maybe it’s something you said or did. Maybe it’s something you failed to say or do. Maybe there was a long period when you were too arrogant, lazy, afraid, or self-absorbed to do all kinds of things you should have been doing all along.

Such dark moments are perfect weapons for the devil. With them, he can smother you with guilt and block out the light of hope. With them, he can isolate and shove you into the solitary confinement of despair.

Enter Jesus. On our behalf, God the Son lived the kind of life you and I have failed to live. In our place, God the Son suffered and died for our every sinful failure, our every wasted moment. And now he lives. He lives to assure you and me that the old enemies of guilt and regret and despair no longer have the final word. Jesus does.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, by nature I was once your enemy. But now you have made me your friend. Your blood has washed my guilt away. Thank you, Lord. Thank you. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Importance of Family – February 20, 2022

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.
Romans 12:9-16

The Importance of Family

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 20, 2022

Devotion based on Romans 12:9-16

See series: Devotions

We all know and appreciate how important our families are. Family is there for you when you are really in need, they laugh with you and cry with you, and stand with you through the good times and the bad. Family members are linked together with a strong and common bond.

That bond is not always genetic.

There is a spiritual bond among fellow believers, and together we make up a spiritual family. I am so very privileged to have a group of brothers and sisters in the Lord—and so are you.

Remember your spiritual family. It’s far too easy to take them for granted. When times are good, we may feel that we don’t need a relationship with the people at church. When times are bad, however, their thoughts, prayers, acts of kindness, and deeds of love are priceless. If you need help and support from your fellow believers—ask! We are all willing to be there for you. If you don’t need any help and support at this time—someone needs you! Ask and look for anyone who needs encouragement and go out of your way to help them. We have all received so much from God. What a joy it is to be able to give a little back and help a brother or sister in the Lord. A Christian family is priceless!

Prayer:
Lord, thank-you for my brothers and sisters in Christ. May I be a blessing to them, and may they be a blessing to me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Refreshment for the Thirsty Soul – February 19, 2022

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7,8

Refreshment for the Thirsty Soul

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 19, 2022

Devotion based on Jeremiah 17:7,8

See series: Devotions

The oldest tree in the world is thought to be a bristlecone pine tree named Methuselah, located in California’s White Mountains. The estimated age of this tree is almost 5,000 years, meaning that it has remained standing and living through many seasons of extreme California heat. Over this long time, the roots of this tree were consistently able to reach life-sustaining water.

The length of our days on earth will never reach 5,000 years, but our experience with life on earth can be much the same as it has been for this tree. There are times we feel the heat of life: pressure at work, family demands, or daily troubles and challenges.

Jesus knows how hard those moments are. He felt the heat of this world too. He walked its dry dirt, felt its hurt, and saw its pain. He knows what it’s like to be thirsty for love that many people did not show him. And though he didn’t need forgiveness for any sin, he still knows the hellish pain of being punished for every sin, as he offered his perfect life on a cross as a sacrifice, all to assure us that there is no heat or drought or sin on earth that will keep us from standing forever in the perfection of heaven.

So, you don’t need to worry. But if you do from time to time, you always have a stream of Living Water to which you can satisfy your thirsty soul. You have the words of the Bible, which is where you will always find Jesus and his promises to be with you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me such perfect promises of love and forgiveness to trust as we walk through life. Let me never fail to refresh my thirsty soul with the truth of all that you have done to save me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Strength in Christ Uncovered – February 18, 2022

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Strength in Christ Uncovered

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 18, 2022

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

See series: Devotions

Although he is one of the most famous Christians of all time, the apostle Paul knew he was weak. In our Bible reading for today, he writes about a figurative “thorn in [his] flesh” that “tormented” him with regular reminders of his inadequacy to successfully handle his struggles against the sinful world and his sinful flesh. He begged and pleaded that God remove this thorn from him so he could find relief. But God did not remove it and not because he wanted Paul to suffer. Rather, he wanted to teach Paul about the strength we find in resting our entire lives in his grace.

We are weak too. Our lives regularly prove it. We are weak against various temptations, despite often promising to do better. Our resolve is often easily weakened as we live in a dying world filled with unspeakably difficult troubles and brokenness. Yet the Bible assures us that we are already victorious over all these things, not because we regularly prove our strength against them, but because Jesus was already strong enough to defeat sin, death, and Satan with his perfect life, innocent death, and resurrection.

That allows each of us to always say, along with Paul, that “I am strong.” I am strong in Christ Jesus.

Prayer:
Gracious Savior may your victory over sin, death, and Satan always be the first place I go to seek my strength. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Confidence in Christ Uncovered – February 17, 2022

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7,8

Confidence in Christ Uncovered

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 17, 2022

Devotion based on Jeremiah 17:7,8

See series: Devotions

The prophet Jeremiah said that someone who is rooted in the Lord: 1) does not fear when the heat comes, 2) has no worries in the year of drought, and 3) never fails to bear fruit. Those are three powerful illustrations that lead to three very natural questions we frequently use to help us evaluate how we’re doing in life:
What am I currently afraid of?
What am I currently worried about?
And finally, where have I failed to bear fruit in my Christian life?

These are questions that not only help us evaluate how we’re doing in our Christian lives; they also often bring an unwelcomed guest into our lives when we’re trying to answer them. A guest that shows up as a voice saying: “Shame on you” for being or feeling any of those things. “Shame on you” for being the kind of person who’s afraid or worried, though God commands us not to be. “Shame on you” for failing to be all that God tells us to be.

That’s a hard voice to hear, and it’s a hard voice to silence once it starts talking. This is why Jeremiah so intentionally points us to the “him” we can confidently put our trust in.

That “him” is Jesus. He was never afraid that all our failures wouldn’t be forgiven, since he was the one fully responsible for making it happen. Jesus knows the frequency of our fears, worries, and failings but also wants us to know that, because of our connection to him by faith, we stand here today as those who do not need to be worried or afraid of any trouble or sin.

Prayer:
Gracious Lord Jesus, help me to always place my confidence in your perfect and completed work as our Savior. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Roots Uncovered – February 16, 2022

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7,8

Roots Uncovered

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 16, 2022

Devotion based on Jeremiah 17:7,8

See series: Devotions

In Mpumalanga, South Africa, there is a place known as the Echo Caves. The caves are fascinating enough by themselves, as they take you through a breathtaking view of stalagmites and stalactites miles under the ground. But what this area is most well-known for are the fig trees growing above the caves. As far as fig trees go, there’s nothing all that special about how they look or how the figs taste. What makes these trees unique is the part you cannot see until you go into the caves. What makes them famous are their roots.

Researchers and spelunking scientists have followed the roots of these 10-foot-tall trees deep into the Echo Caves and discovered that the roots go down about 400 feet. That’s 40 times as tall as one tree, making it the deepest known root system in the entire world. The roots that bring hydration to these trees from 400 feet underneath the earth’s surface so they can live, survive, and thrive in what is an incredibly harsh, dry climate.

It’s not only a somewhat interesting science lesson, but it’s also an illustration the Bible often uses of how we can survive an environment that isn’t always easy to live in.

Indeed, those who root themselves in God’s Word are connected with a Savior whose power over death gives us comfort and strength as we suffer through harsh seasons of loss and suffering. The consistency of our Savior’s unfailing love keeps us stable as we endure the winds of change that sometimes bring in challenges we never saw coming. The forgiveness our Savior earned for us fills us with hope, strength, and confidence as we daily battle with sin and temptation.

Remain rooted in all our Savior is, and all he so graciously did on our behalf, and he will never fail to provide all that you need to keep going.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, keep me forever rooted in your gracious love for me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Joy Uncovered – February 15, 2022

Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.
Luke 6:23

Joy Uncovered

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 15, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 6:23

See series: Devotions

A teacher had a memorable way of reminding his students what joy looks like in the life of a Christian. He had the word “JOY” hanging vertically on one of the classroom walls. After the letter “J,” he hung the phrase, “Jesus first.” After the “O,” it said, “others second.” After the “Y,” he put, “yourself last.” Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last.

What that looks like is easy enough to understand.

Putting “Jesus first” means that having Jesus guiding our entire life by his Word means more to us than anything. It means that the forgiveness he earned has a bigger impact on our self-esteem than even our worst sin. And that his gracious promises have a bigger impact on our mood than our fears, worries, or frustrations.

Putting “others second” means caring about meeting the needs of others more than we care about meeting our own. It means being patient and kind with those who so far have only given us reason to feel frustration.

And finally, considering “yourself last” means that whatever happens to us on earth and whatever anyone else thinks of us really is the least important thing our heart is ever considering.

The basic principles are easy enough to understand. They aren’t so easy to put into practice.

Jesus himself made it clear to the whole world exactly what place he considered himself to be in—last. The humble Son of God, who guided his entire life according to God’s will perfectly, was persecuted on a cross and insulted in ways that we cannot imagine, really did not consider what happened to him on earth to be as important as the one thing his heart wanted more than anything—YOU—completely forgiven for every sin that would keep you from the place where you will never again mourn, your heart will always be whole, nothing important will ever be missing, and your joy will be everlasting.

The secret to joy rests entirely on what Jesus has already done for us. We help others find that joy by letting the heart of Jesus shine through us.

Prayer:
Gracious Savior, fill me with joy that comes from your perfect work on my behalf, and give me all I need to faithfully share the joy of the Gospel with others. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Power Made Perfect in Weakness – February 13, 2022

The Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9,10

Power Made Perfect in Weakness

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 13, 2022

Devotion based on 2 Corinthians 12:9,10

See series: Devotions

When fishing from my boat, I used to wear my life jacket only when there were large waves. I would never wear one when the weather was nice. The irony is that I was safer in bad weather with a life jacket than in good weather without a life jacket.

We can be tempted to do the same in our spiritual lives. When things are going well, we don’t always express our trust in God and confidently depend on him. We think we have everything under our control. But when the storms of life reveal our weakness, we are led to plead for God’s help and turn to him for strength. Ironically, we are stronger during difficult times because of Christ’s power than during good times when we tend to trust in ourselves.

Are you feeling weak and vulnerable? Trust in Christ and his sufficient grace to bring you through your troubles.

Prayer:
When difficulties and troubles weaken me, Jesus, wrap me in your strength and lead me by your grace. Teach me to depend on you for help and guidance in all matters of my life, confidently trusting that you will help me by your power as my Lord. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Fisher of People – February 12, 2022

When [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
Luke 5:4-10

Fisher of People

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 12, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 5:4-10

See series: Devotions

Peter and his companions knew how to fish. When a person spends their life doing something, they usually become pretty good at it. Maybe this is why Jesus’ miracle had such an impact on Simon. When Jesus sent so many fish into their nets that they began to break, and their boats began to sink, he was astonished. Falling at his master’s knees he said, “Go away from me Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Does Peter’s reaction surprise you? Wouldn’t we expect him to say, “Lord, since you can do miracles like this, stay right next to me! If this is how you fish, we are going to be rich!” Instead, he says, “Get away from me!” Peter knew that he didn’t have any business being near the one who had power over creation and all its creatures.

We can understand his response, can’t we? Thankfully, Jesus deals with us the same way he dealt with Peter. He says, “Don’t be afraid.” Although we have every reason to be afraid of a holy God, we need not be because that holy God sent Jesus to pay for every sin and set us right with him. Spend this day celebrating the good news and worshiping the holy God who has called you to follow him.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, send your Holy Spirit to assure me of your love and forgiveness. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Fishing for People – February 11, 2022

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Luke 5:8-10

Fishing for People

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 11, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 5:8-10

See series: Devotions

Simon Peter had just witnessed a miracle. Jesus had given him a catch of fish so miraculously large that his nets began to break, and his boats began to sink. Peter immediately realized that he had nothing to do with this great catch of fish and that it happened by the power of Jesus’ word. He knew that he was in the presence of God and was deeply aware of the fact that he did not belong there.

But Jesus absolutely wanted him there. He was at a turning point in his ministry. Before this event, he was a lone teacher. Now Jesus wanted others to help him. So he said to Peter, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Jesus called people to fish for other people.

But notice the kind of people Jesus called! These were not professional speakers, they were fishermen. Jesus used regular guys to preach and teach. God still does the same thing. He sends ordinary people to preach and teach.

Why does God give such an important task to such unimportant people? To show that the power is from God and not from people. The net with which Jesus catches people is the good news about his perfect life, innocent death, and glorious resurrection. The message itself carries the power to catch people for Jesus.

God gets all the credit for all the good that comes from preaching. The more unworthy the messenger, the more God’s power stands out. He uses sinful men and women as his messenger to tell other sinners about their Savior and lead them to faith in him.

Prayer:
Lord, I am a sinful person. Forgive my sins by your grace, and work through your people to fill the nets of your kingdom with those caught in unbelief. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Because Jesus Says So – February 10, 2022

When [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
Luke 5:4-6

Because Jesus Says So

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – February 10, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 5:4-6

See series: Devotions

Can you imagine the scene? Jesus had just finished teaching crowds of people, using Simon’s boat as an impromptu stage. Now he taught Simon how to fish. The problem was that Simon was a professional fisherman, and Jesus was not.

Jesus told him to put out into the deep water during the day. But Simon knew that the best time to fish was the evening and that the best place to throw your nets was in the shallow water. In fact, Simon had labored with all his skill all night long and caught nothing. And now Jesus wanted him to drop his nets again at a less favorable time. It didn’t make any sense.

But there was something about Jesus that caused Simon to take him at his word. And so, he said to Jesus, “…because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Jesus’ word has authority and power. Because Jesus is the almighty Son of God, he filled the nets with fish to their breaking point.

The miracle taught Simon to always trust Jesus’ word. This would be important when Simon began doing the important work of what Jesus called “catching people.” You see, after this miracle, Jesus called Simon to fish for people. Jesus’ word is what catches people for him by bringing them to faith, and now Simon knew the power of Jesus’ word.

Do you? Christianity has been spreading and growing for millennia, not by human skill or technique, but by the word of Jesus. It may seem strange or go against your expectations for how God should work, but because Jesus says so, trust in his word to do the job. He will not let you down!

Prayer:
Jesus, help me to always trust your word. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

An Eternal Agenda Uncovered – January 31, 2022

They tried to keep him from leaving them. But [Jesus] said, “I must proclaim the good news.”
Luke 4:43

An Eternal Agenda Uncovered

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 31, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 4:43

See series: Devotions

Jesus had it all. The people were coming from everywhere to see him. He was a charismatic and engaging speaker. And he could do amazing things. Demons and diseases answered to his demands. Injuries, illnesses, and ailments listened when he spoke. And word began to spread about him.

The lines of people waiting to see him grew longer. The time he spent helping and healing stretched from sunrise to sunset—sometimes even longer. And the people were excited. This could finally be the one. This could be the Messiah, the Savior, and deliverer they had been waiting for.

And who wouldn’t want a Savior like that? One who could solve problems like cancer, cataracts, or COVID. One with whom you would never be hungry or thirsty again.

If we had been there, wouldn’t we have been right with the crowds? “Don’t leave, Jesus! You make our life in this world easier. We want you to stick around.”

And why wouldn’t Jesus want that kind of love and attention?

But Jesus uncovered a different agenda. He said, “I must proclaim the good news.” Jesus didn’t come primarily to feed the hungry or heal the hurting. Jesus came to share the good news. Good news that there’s more to life than what we see. Good news that he came to rescue us from hunger and hurt permanently by giving us eternal life in heaven.

Even though we easily chase after worldly happiness, Jesus wouldn’t let fame or fortune distract him from his divine agenda. He was willing to face rejection, ridicule, and pain on his way to suffer and die for every greedy intention and desire we have. And because he did, we can look forward to something so much better than an easy life in this world. We have the perfect life waiting for us with him in heaven, a life that will never end!

Jesus loves us and cares about our problems in this life too, but his real agenda was to accomplish and proclaim the good news of eternal life for us. And that’s just what he did! Believe it! Celebrate it!

Prayer:
Jesus, your agenda is so much better than mine. Thank you for staying the course for me. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Lord Will Be With You – January 30, 2022

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Jeremiah 1:4-10

The Lord Will Be With You

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 30, 2022

Devotion based on Jeremiah 1:4-10

See series: Devotions

You know you must talk to the other person. You even know what you have to say. You know it’s what God wants you to say. But it doesn’t look easy. You’ve never had to do something exactly like this before. You’re feeling awkward, almost like a child.

Does it help to know that the Lord knew you would be in this situation even before you were born? He has equipped you for this moment. He has led you to a clear understanding of his Word. He has given you a humble spirit of repentance and faith in Jesus, your Savior.

Does it help you to know that the Lord will be with you? He is everywhere, of course, but when you speak his words, he promises his special presence. He will not abandon you; in fact, he will strengthen you at that moment.

Does it help you to know that the word of the Lord is powerful? It uproots and tears down, destroys and overthrows, builds and plants. You can count on it accomplishing exactly what the Lord wants it to.

Prayer:
Lord, give me the confidence to speak your truth faithfully. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As Was His Custom – January 29, 2022

[Jesus] went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read.
Luke 4:16

As Was His Custom

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 29, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 4:16

See series: Devotions

“As was his custom.” It’s pretty easy to read past those words, isn’t it? But the reality is, there’s a world of good news in those words. Remember, Jesus came to this earth because you and I needed a Savior. We’re sinful human beings who deserved to be sent to hell. So Jesus came to this earth, and he died on the cross, paying for our sins.

But that’s only half the story.

Why so? Because God’s standard for going to heaven isn’t merely that our sins be taken away. God also requires that we be positively perfect and completely holy. And you and I must say, “I’m in trouble!”

But you’re not in trouble at all. You have a Savior who not only died for you but who also lived for you. He lived perfectly, in every sense of the term. He perfectly loved God; he perfectly loved his neighbors. He was perfectly kind, just, fair, loving. In the Bible verse for our devotion today, we’re reminded that he worshiped God perfectly: “as was his custom.”

And here’s the really good news—You get credit for what Jesus did. Yes, you get the credit not only for Jesus’ death, but also for his life—the way that Jesus perfectly loved God. God has credited that to your account so that now God considers you to have loved him perfectly, too. Jesus loved his neighbors perfectly: God now considers you to have loved your neighbors perfectly, too. Jesus worshiped perfectly: God considers you to have worshiped perfectly, too, for you have been credited with that perfect life of Jesus.

So, there’s a world of good news in that phrase “as was his custom.” It’s a reminder that in the eyes of God, you are perfect and holy because of Jesus. What a phrase! What a truth!

Prayer:
Lord God, remind me of my status, that you’ve credited Jesus’ perfect life to me, that I might be filled with quiet confidence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Some Want Silence – January 28, 2022

And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God.
Isaiah 61:6

Some Want Silence

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 28, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 61:6

See series: Devotions

There is lots of support in the world for silencing anyone who speaks about Jesus and his work. Some people don’t like his morality. Others are offended by his gracious offer of unearned forgiveness. People who simply say what the Bible says encounter skepticism and hostility. Many would prefer that Christians simply remain silent.

But God does not remain silent. His word remains powerful. And he gives a couple of titles to people who speak tell others about him.

He calls them priests. Priests in the Old Testament were honored members of society. They served God at the Temple in Jerusalem by making the animal sacrifices that were a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do—sacrificing himself for the sins of the world. After making the sacrifice for the people who brought the animal, the priest would assure them that their sins were forgiven.

Do not be silent. Assure your friends and your family that their sins are forgiven. Nothing is more important.

The other title that God gives to people who speak on his behalf is minister. God says that when you say what he wants you to, you are ministering to people, that is, taking care of them and their needs. They need to hear that God loves and forgives them. You can tell them that, and you will be named ministers of our God.

There will be pressure for you to be silent. But you can speak confidently because you know that God’s message is powerful.

Prayer:
Lord God, open my lips, that my mouth may declare your praise. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Captors Do Not Take It Well – January 27, 2022

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
Isaiah 61:1

Captors Do Not Take It Well

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 27, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 61:1

See series: Devotions

When I was a kid, I had a long discussion with my friend about what we should ask for if we ever found a magic lamp with a genie in it. We talked about asking for wealth, world peace, or whales to be protected from pollution. If I remember the conversation correctly, we settled on asking for the devil to be converted to being a follower of God, figuring that many other problems in the world would be solved by that.

But the devil will not repent. He will not be converted. Our wish was really rather foolish.

As we grow older, we realize the folly of our youth, and we see how often we should have thought, said, or done something else. An honest reckoning of our lives can easily lead us to be brokenhearted as we realize the opportunities, we have often missed opportunities and the lack of love we have often showed.

Jesus was sent to bind up the brokenhearted. He proclaimed freedom for the captives. He won the release of prisoners from the darkness.

Sin, death, and the devil try to hold us captive, but Jesus sets us free. Our enemies can rage all they want. Jesus overthrows them for our good.

Prayer:
Let me see the freedom I have in you, dear Lord Jesus. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Good News for the Poor – January 26, 2022

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
Isaiah 61:1

Good News for the Poor

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 26, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 61:1

See series: Devotions

Why do rich people often have a hard time listening to the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus? One theory is that they think they have everything they need already, so they don’t realize their need for a Savior.

Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah said that he was chosen to proclaim good news to the poor—people who realized that they needed good news! When Jesus began his preaching ministry, he said that those words were written about him. He told people the good news that they were spiritually poor enough to need a Savior and that he was their man.

Jesus is your man too. Whether you live in a mansion or under a bridge, whether what you drive is shiny and new or old and rusted, whether your bank account is full or nearly empty, you were born spiritually poor. So poor, in fact, that you had nothing in your spiritual account. But that is why Jesus came. He came to fill your account with his perfect life. He came to pay your spiritual debt by dying on the cross.

That is good news! It’s the best of news, really. It means you are all paid up with God. It means that through faith in Jesus, you will inherit heaven one day. You who were once poor are now wealthy beyond measure in Jesus.

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, thank you for making me who was poor, rich. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Locals Do Not Take It Well – January 25, 2022

“Truly I tell you,” [Jesus] continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.” . . . All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.
Luke 4:24,28

Locals Do Not Take It Well

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 25, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 4:24,28

See series: Devotions

When Jesus was growing up, he never sinned. It’s hard to understand how he could go through childhood and teenage years without ever doing anything wrong, but that’s exactly what happened. Jesus was a model citizen. But when he returned to his hometown as an adult to tell the people all about the truths about God, they rejected him. He had never done anything wrong to them, but they were still skeptics. Jesus saw their problem, and he told them, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.” Did that make them sorry for doubting him? Nope! They were furious when they heard what Jesus told them.

Don’t be surprised if you get the same reaction when you mention anything about Jesus. His perfect life is your righteousness, your ticket to heaven through faith, but rather than marveling at that truth, people remain skeptical. His death took the punishment for your sin, but rather than thanking you for that information, people roll their eyes as if it’s a cliché.

Don’t give up. One famous skeptic in the Bible, a man named Saul, was converted by the power of the word of God. He became one of the most famous missionaries in all of history. He may never have preached in his hometown, but he founded congregations in many other places and trained many other witnesses to the truths of the faith.

You are able to be a witness to the power of the word of God in your life as well. Stick with Jesus until you share the hometown of heaven with him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, when people reject what I say about you, forgive them and strengthen me to serve you faithfully all the days of my life. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rulers Do Not Take It Well – January 24, 2022

You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.”
Acts 4:25,26

Rulers Do Not Take It Well

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 24, 2022

Devotion based on Acts 4:25,26

See series: Devotions

The Bible tells us about a young man named Timothy who was mentored by a famous missionary named Paul. There are even two books of the Bible—1 Timothy and 2 Timothy—named after him. Both books are letters written to him by Paul.

Timothy’s life wasn’t always easy. For example, we know that he was imprisoned for being a Christian. Hebrews 13:23 says, “I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released.” That’s not commonly talked about when Timothy is remembered, but it shouldn’t surprise us. David, who lived a thousand years before Jesus died, said that kings of the earth rise up against the Lord. Just twenty years after Jesus rose from the dead, rulers banded together to have Timothy and others arrested.

It is still going on today. Whole nations rage against the Lord, rejecting the morality of the Bible and scoffing at the news of forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus.

But not so with you. Like Timothy, who remained faithful to the end, you have no reason to rage or plot against the Lord. Instead, you can take comfort that God is stronger than any nation, king, or ruler. When government officials thought they had put an end to Jesus’ work by killing him, he rose from the dead and demonstrated how God uses even powerful opposition to carry out his purpose.

God’s purpose is to love you. God’s purpose is to save you. No ruler can prevent him from doing that for you.

Prayer:
Lord God, I do not have power over governments, but you do. Grant us a peaceful society where we are free to learn about your love for us in Jesus. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Help for Your Heart – January 23, 2022

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.
Isaiah 61:1

Help for Your Heart

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 23, 2022

Devotion based on Isaiah 61:1

See series: Devotions

There are a lot of heartaches in our lives. We would like to have the world be a better place. But doesn’t it seem like things are just getting worse? Our lives get weighed down with many cares and concerns. Sometimes matters are so serious that it just breaks our hearts.

What difficulties are you facing that are almost too much to bear? What troubling circumstances surround the days that keep you awake at night? To whom can you turn for help?

You can turn to Jesus. God sent him “to bind up the brokenhearted.” He knows you; he understands you. And most importantly, he helps you. He came to remove the greatest weight that crushes your heart. He is your Savior who took away the guilt of all your sin. And now, no matter what things are breaking apart in your life, you have a relationship with God that is unbroken. As a result, you can count on God, who loves and saves you, to help you with all the matters in your life that are breaking your heart.

Prayer:
Jesus, I lift up my heart in praise to you because you came to bind up my heart broken by sin. Help me to grow in my trust that as you loved me to be my Savior, you will also be with me every day to help through the difficulties and troubles that I face. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Perfect Timing – January 22, 2022

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My hour has not yet come.”
John 2:4

Perfect Timing

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 22, 2022

Devotion based on John 2:4

See series: Devotions

Waiting for the perfect time is what Jesus did throughout his ministry. It didn’t make any difference what the situation was. He waited for exactly the right moment so that everything was done right and according to God’s saving plan.

Jesus said as much when he responded to his mother’s request for more wine at the wedding in Cana. The same concern for timing can also be seen when he taught, when he performed miracles, or even when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Everything was done at exactly the right time.

The same concern for the perfect timing can be seen in his decision to go to Jerusalem. When the time was right, Jesus went into the city. The timing had to be perfect to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies and rescue all people from the curse of sin.

It is Jesus’ perfect timing that provides a double comfort. The first assures that we have been rescued from the punishment deserved because of sin. Jesus went to the cross and offered his body and blood as the sacrifice God required, so we are cleansed of guilt and set free from punishment. The second comforts us every day. Every need, every prayer, and every detail of our life is under Jesus’ loving care, his watchful eye, and his perfect timing. This assures us that everything will always happen for our good and at the best possible time.

Prayer:
O gracious Savior, Jesus Christ, my times are in your hands. Teach me to not only turn my heart to the promises you give me in your Word but teach me also to trust that you will do everything for my good according to your perfect timing. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Rest of the Story – January 21, 2022

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
John 2:11

The Rest of the Story

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 21, 2022

Devotion based on John 2:11

See series: Devotions

I grew up listening to National Public Radio. It was always on when my dad was driving or in my grandmother’s kitchen. We’d listen to replays of Garrison Keillor on Sundays and during the week, Paul Harvey.

Paul Harvey liked to show how there is often more to a story than what we are aware of. He weaved narratives filled with amusing or amazing behind-the-scenes details about famous people or historic events. Each episode ended with a surprise twist, revealing who or what the story was about. Then he closed with his famous phrase, “And now you know … the rest of the story.”

Without having all the details, people make all kinds of false assumptions about God. They think he is unfair, unloving, angry. He has little interest in us. He doesn’t care about our happiness. The truth is, we can’t possibly uncover who God truly is on our own. God is beyond our reach. But God has made himself known to us in Jesus.

What do you know about Jesus? There are four books in the Bible that give a detailed account of Jesus’ life, but the book of John provides the rest of the story. John doesn’t just give us details about Jesus’ life and miracles. He goes behind the scenes and shows us how each miracle is a “sermon in action.” Each miracle teaches us something significant about God.

When Jesus turned water into wine, he uncovered what God is like. He is good, gracious, and generous. Jesus doesn’t decrease joy; he multiplies it. He wants to share in our joys and solve our challenges. That’s why Jesus came to earth. He came to help us in our need. He came to destroy the devil’s work by his death on the cross. And by his resurrection, he opened heaven to all who believe in him.

Like Jesus’ disciples, may what we learn of him in the Bible cause us to believe in him.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, use what you tell me about yourself in the Bible to cause me to believe that you are my God and Savior. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Best for Last – January 20, 2022

The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
John 2:9,10

The Best for Last

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 20, 2022

Devotion based on John 2:9,10

See series: Devotions

The young girl was in awe. This was the first wedding she had attended. It had been amazing. As she sat at the reception, a server came by to take her plate. She was about to hand him her fork when her grandma, leaning over, said with a smile, “Hold on to your fork.” The little girl looked puzzled. So, her grandmother explained.

In all her years, she had been to many weddings and enjoyed many banquets, and learned one important lesson. As splendid as the main course was, there was always something more. Dessert! “So, hold on to your fork,” she said, “The best is yet to come.”

The master of the wedding banquet Jesus attended had no idea what Jesus had in store. In all his years, every wedding celebration had always served the good wine first. Imagine his surprise when the servants brought him the best wine last. He had no idea where it came from, but the servers knew. Jesus had miraculously turned water into wine.

With this miracle, Jesus uncovered an important truth about God. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from God. Not satisfied with giving us what is adequate, he insists on providing more and better blessings than we could ever have imagined.

He is, as a matter of fact, saving the very best until last. For all those who trust his promise of forgiveness through Jesus, he promises an eternal, glorious and perfect home in heaven, provided for you by his Son.

God provides us with so many joys in this life. But even if your life is filled with troubles and sorrow, this truth remains: In Jesus, the best is yet to come!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, for all that I receive from your hand—daily bread, forgiveness, eternal life—make me truly thankful. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jesus Changes Everything – January 19, 2022

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” . . . Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.
John 2:5,7-9

Jesus Changes Everything

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 19, 2022

Devotion based on John 2:5,7-9

See series: Devotions

You’ve probably heard about the egg who decided one day to do something rather foolish. He climbed atop a very high wall and sat scanning all he could see. Suddenly he slipped, slammed to the ground, and shattered into a thousand pieces. As he lay there, not even the most powerful creatures in the land could put Humpty Dumpty together again.

When Jesus attended a wedding in the town of Cana, there appeared to be a Humpty Dumpty kind of situation. The wine had run out. There didn’t seem to be any solution. Even the wealthiest guests could not purchase more wine if there was none to be had.

But Jesus’ mother, Mary, knew who her son was. And she knew he could help. So, she told the servants to do whatever Jesus asked.

Jesus told the servants to fill six large jars with water. One moment those jars were filled with water. The next moment, the servers were pulling wine from those same jars. Jesus had changed 180 gallons of water into 900 bottles worth of wine. Just by willing it to happen!

When things fall apart in your life, remember what Jesus is capable of. You don’t need a good bottle of wine to drown your sorrows in. All you need is the power of your gracious and generous God. He can do the impossible.

He changed more than water into wine. By his death and resurrection, he brought light from darkness and life out of death. He can certainly put your life back together. He will work all things for the good of those who love him. Indeed, he can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, remind me that when my life falls apart, I know you can put it together again. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

All In Good Time – January 18, 2022

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
John 2:3-5

All In Good Time

Press to listen to the audio file in a new tab or window.
Daily Devotion – January 18, 2022

Devotion based on John 2:3-5

See series: Devotions

I was recently in the drive-through of a national coffee shop. The line of cars in front of me snaked all the way around the building. But I didn’t care. I needed my cup of joe. When I finally reached the speaker box to place my order, I saw a sign that read: “Our apologies, we are all out of coffee cups.” That store had a problem.

The host at the wedding Jesus attended in Cana had a bigger problem. The week-long celebration was nowhere near over, and the host had no more wine. This was a huge problem. And Mary desperately wanted the family to avoid embarrassment. She knew who her son was, God’s Messiah. And she believed that he could provide a solution.

In the grand scheme, the lack of wine was a minor issue. Jesus had a global concern—the salvation of souls. Still, Mary believed that—should he so choose—Jesus could help the wedding couple in their time of need.

Jesus can also help us in our times of need. Whether we struggle with shortages of finances, food, physical health, or a friend’s or family’s love, Jesus is able to help. After all, he was able to help us with our greatest need—the forgiveness of our sins against God. The blood he shed on the cross purifies us from all sin and makes us acceptable to God.

Just because we suffer shortages doesn’t mean God doesn’t care. God uses our struggles to drive us to Jesus and ask him for a solution. Since Jesus died and rose again to give us eternal life, he can certainly help us with our daily needs. And in his good time, he will.

Prayer:
Dearest Jesus, by your death and resurrection, there is nothing that I lack. But when I am in need, drive me to you for relief. Amen.

Daily Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email